Official Review: Dreamwalking by Stephen Lee Stith

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greenstripedgiraffe
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Official Review: Dreamwalking by Stephen Lee Stith

Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dreamwalking" by Stephen Lee Stith.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Born to, and idolized by, Elizabeth Warren, James Warren, Jr. (J.W.) began life with an abundance of intellectual and athletic talent. Star athlete in his high school, J.W. planned to use a sports scholarship to earn a degree in engineering. Bored by the university level coursework, J.W. quit school to become a construction team supervisor. Due to J.W.'s stellar work ethic and keen management skills, not only did his team gain the reputation of "best team," but he and his crew became best friends. Until the day at the Cliff when the unthinkable happened, everything J.W. touched turned to gold.

Dreamwalking, by Stephen Lee Stith, is the story of one man endowed with all of heaven's natural gifts who experienced a sudden loss in all that he held dear. In one fell swoop, J.W. lost his physical abilities, his friends, his family, his girlfriend, his car, and his home. What would you do, if in your mid-twenties, you ended up in a dead-end nursing home? Thankfully for J.W., his new roommate became an unlikely mentor. Under the tutelage of Mr. Brown, J.W. discovered a renewed reason for living, stretched the intellect he had previously taken for granted, and even fought against corruption.

While reading Dreamwalking, I was reminded that often "truth is stranger than fiction." It is hard to make up a story like this. The author makes a note in the preface that this is a true accounting of James Walker, Jr.'s life. The telling of this incredible tale is well-done. In the opening, you meet several young men who seemingly have an unbreakable bond. When "the event" happens, you are taken through the emotions of all involved. Their reactions were not at all what I expected. Personally, I went through many emotions from amusement to anger, to hope, to more anger, and finally relief.

Thankfully, the characters, as real people, were drawn well. As would be consistent with life, some characters underwent a dramatic transformation while others showed their true colors. The author did a fine job of portraying this. I would caution a younger audience from reading, as there are sexual innuendos and difficult life situations. The language is not always clean, although I felt it accurately represented the characters and how they would talk. While overall, I felt the writing was right on target, there was one writing technique that rather bugged me. I realize it can be acceptable to include some fragment sentences; however, I felt there were too many. Additionally, I am not convinced that the book was professionally edited. There are missing commas in some complex sentences. I also feel that too many sentences start with words such as "Then..." or "But...." While this is technically acceptable, I felt that these are overused. I can forgive this in dialogue, but it should not spill into the overall narrative.

Overall, I would rate this 3 out of 4 stars. The writing style was fairly easy to read, the characters are believable, and there is an overall positive message. However, the abundance of fragment sentences as well as the doubtful editing prompt me to give this fewer than 4 stars.

******
Dreamwalking
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Post by stacie k »

The fact that this book is based on a true story makes it all the more impactful. I’m particularly interested in the mentoring relationship and the growth to renewed purpose in life. It sounds like an emotional and inspiring story! Thanks for a great review!
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Post by MsTri »

I normally wouldn't read, or even comment, on this kind of book, but your review was excellent and gave a great case for the book. I still doubt I'll read it due to the emotions I'd be sure to experience, most of them negative, but I will still keep it in the back of my mind in case I change my mind one day. Again, thanks for the introduction.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

MsTri wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 00:16
I normally wouldn't read, or even comment, on this kind of book, but your review was excellent and gave a great case for the book. I still doubt I'll read it due to the emotions I'd be sure to experience, most of them negative, but I will still keep it in the back of my mind in case I change my mind one day. Again, thanks for the introduction.
Thank you so much for your very kind comments! :oops:
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Post by kandscreeley »

This sounds really interesting. I'm a bit confused, though. Is this a fictional account of a mostly true story? The author says the story is true, but it's under other fiction. I might have to look into this. Thanks!
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

kandscreeley wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 07:32
This sounds really interesting. I'm a bit confused, though. Is this a fictional account of a mostly true story? The author says the story is true, but it's under other fiction. I might have to look into this. Thanks!
Good question - I don't know why it's under "other fiction" I think it is a biography, based on what the author says.
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Post by Mildred Tabitha »

I appreciate your good review. It made me have more interest in reading the book. I was first attracted by the title before I decide to read the review. This being a true story, it is a perfect book for me.
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Post by Libs_Books »

I appreciate that some books need to blur the boundaries between truth and fiction, but I'm still confused about this one. It certainly sounds like a remarkable story. Maybe it's the portrayal of the other characters that stops it being a straightforward biography. I think you've done a great job with the review.

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Post by AmySmiles »

Wow this sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for the review.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

Libs_Books wrote:
24 Apr 2018, 13:05
I appreciate that some books need to blur the boundaries between truth and fiction, but I'm still confused about this one. It certainly sounds like a remarkable story. Maybe it's the portrayal of the other characters that stops it being a straightforward biography. I think you've done a great job with the review.
According to the author's preface, all of it is true! I don't know why it's categorized as "other fiction." Maybe the author could weigh in on that :lol:
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Post by CatInTheHat »

This sounds like a real tearjerker! It also sounds like a story that can really help people see the "light" in life's darkest moments.
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Post by cpru68 »

What a powerful book based on a true life story! We all have our struggles, but according to your review, it sounds like the main character of the book had an extreme amount of obstacles to deal with. It’s too bad about the punctuation and grammatical errors because I think this story could touch many lives very deeply. Your descriptive range of emotions while reading indicate that this book was well done.
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